EU officials warn of disappearing cod

Cod is slipping closer to disappearing from key European fishing grounds, officials warned Friday, saying that only steep catch cuts will prevent the disappearance of a species prized for centuries for its flaky white flesh, reports the Associated Press.

The European Union’s executive body called for sharp cuts in the amount of cod fisherman can catch next year — up to 25 percent in some areas. The European Commission said recent studies showed cod catches in some areas are far outstripping the rate of reproduction of a fish that fed coastal communities for centuries.

Norway and the EU will begin annual negotiations on cod stock management in November, and Ann Kristin Westberg, deputy director-general of Norway’s Fishery Ministry, who will serve as Norway’s chief negotiator in those talks, said her country was unlikely to accept a 25 percent quota.

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